Why would I love a little Israel Music Conference more than SXSW? When it comes to music conferences, I feel like I can compare them to weddings. SXSW is sort of like a mass produced mandatory family wedding where you see and interact with everyone you have ever met in your family since the age of 6. They have grown up , they look at you forever in a certain way, and you all have the same interactions since the beginning of your existence You spend your time in a hall and then the DJ comes on and then there are certain parts which are awesome yet there is still this lethargic part to it we all dread. SXSW is just that, and it is the family wedding.
You kind of have to be there.
Tune in TLV on the other hand is the destination wedding. The people who attend the destination are special. They have been personally invited and prepped to it for months. They had to block out a time on their schedule. They spend copious amounts of time with other special groups of people and form unique bonds. They eat exotic foods together and chat about family and the possibilities instead of work and the requirements. It has an exotic twist to it IRL and not the standardized wedding party of SXSW, where we all know who the best man is, bridal party, etc. Everyone plays a crucial role in the destination wedding because way fewer people made it out there. What many people don't realize is that mandatory weddings and destination weddings can end up costing the same, and the results are completely different.
I created a 5 point list of why my yearly new "destination wedding" is necessary to attend, and why I feel I achieved more there than at something huge like SXSW.
1. Dinners - I can't tell you the last time I got a dinner with someone I wanted to get a dinner with to advance my career and help their personal life . At SXSW you will eat mini hot dogs and random BBQ in long lines while Israel brings you to exotic dishes of fish on the shoreline of historic Akko. Different kinds of dinners you will remember. There is more food we couldn't afford or even get in Austin, and the fact that we ate so many times together, we almost had to connect by level of proximity. Nothing is forced. Imagine eating with a guy named Uri Buri?
2. Bus Rides If you live in LA you might never ride a bus. While you are in Israel, we went on guided tours of the country with Seymour Stein and visited Jerusalem. SXSW is more like a rented room at a massive Hilton, which still has its benefits :) Remember camp? This has that feel, because the visitors get to come on these special trips that the tourism guide prepares for the out of towners.
3. Gratitude Instead of bands and people basically complaining to be there, the amount of time invested has really led to the enjoyment of the trip. Being so far away from home, both the artists being watched and the writers covering the event as they all have come a long way to be there. That is the difference between a destination conference and a mass produced conference, in my opinion. The level of enjoyment is much higher. Also, all the people are way better looking and the venues are all packed for the shows instead of 15 people at the show on many occasions.
4. Politics - Finally in the music business you can actually speak about the politics of that world as well as engage in meaningful conversation, instead of commenting from a far about the business and world in a place like Beverly HIlls or or NYC, where we really don't have much to complain about. Since we actually made it to the destination, the range of topics and connections we have will be broader since we decided to fly across the world to be together. Imagine a music community that speaks on middle eastern politics and the situation of where they live rather than watching it on CNN? It is much more pleasant than you think, because no one cares as much and they wanna make sure they vibe to the music that we all came for (duh..get it? tune in tlv)
5. Music (and the music hustle) - The best part about a music conference is the music right? Someone should probably say they have said huge balls to say that the music in an Israel conference is better than SXSW, but let me explain. Not to say it is scores better than the American hoopla of Texas BBQ, but imagine the hardest hustlers of HOllywood BLVD with Israeli accents pushing their music to the media, all in hopes of making it to a bigger and better career. The best thing is that the people hustle like its Hollywood BLVD, but the quality is Bonnaroo and Wakarusa and Coachella.
Who to check out.
I recommend to check out Adi Ulmansky , Tamar Antler, The Kokoro, Boom Pan. Tiny Fingers. and A-Wa who are actually the Southern Israel Yemenite singing version of HAIM (not really, but they are actually the Haim's as well.)
Make sure you check out www.tuneintlv.com to learn more about the packed out venues, great artists, and how to get there for 2015.
ps. Also be sure to check them out at SXSW this year, which I will go to, and come hang out and rap with the Tune in TLV crew who will be in attendance.
pss. I truly love SXSW and will never stop going, but this thing is a certain must for anyone looking to go "deeper" into their music experience career. You will never get the time it takes to build relationships until you hit a conference like Tune in TLV.
Kosha Dillz is an awesome rapper and writer who is the only Jewish rapper on Vans Warped Tour this year with acts like Escape the Fate and Riff Raff and Baby Baby, and will also rap in Hebrew, Spanish, and English and his album Awkward in A Good Way was produced by Jesse Shatkin who made Sia's Chandelier so he will win lots of Grammys most likely. He is known for his independent hustle and perseverance. He has been featured in Spin Magazine, LA Times, Billboard, Village Voice and more. Email him for advice rapperfriends(at)gmail.com and www.koshadillzworld.com